I love taking trips and seeing new things. I love seeing nature differ from place to place. I love these out-of-time-and-space experiences that punctuate my routine life.
On Spring Break Ron and I had a wonderful road trip to Lake Havasu and the Grand Canyon. It originally was a weekend plan for me to go and see my college girlfriend in Lake Havasu but during the discussion of ‘would I fly into Las Vegas or Phoenix’ it grew into a driving trip with husband and stretched into two weeks rather than one weekend. (These things seem to happen to me frequently, something growing into more than I had planned. Someday I will tell you how painting the kitchen cupboards became a whole kitchen remodel or how buying bark dust for the garden became a wall to hold the bark dust in and then a sidewalk and then a new driveway.)
We planned to tent camp at the Grand Canyon but got a new air mattress for the van just in case of snow. We call it “Minimalist Camping”. I took one pan and a one burner propane stove and a few utensils and a lot of easy meal plans. Tomato soup, that kind of thing.
We were late getting away on our first day and only made it to Klamath Falls, about 5 hours away. Since we didn’t have a campground reservation we thought we would just stop at the local Walmart like other minimalist RVers do. I had already realized I’d forgotten my toothbrush so it worked all around. We made our pit stop, brushed our teeth, and then went looking for the dark corner of the Walmart lot.
Wait. There IS no dark corner of the parking lot. They have floodlights all over. We wanted to be in the same general area as other over-nighters for security’s sake but not too close for privacy’s sake. We quickly realized that one big benefit of an RV or a van outfitted for sleeping is curtains. I am sure that we gave quite a comedy show as we undressed for bed inside our sleeping bag. On the air mattress! Little did we know that it would have been better to leave all our street clothes on since we froze, froze, froze all night long. And having to get dressed IN the sleeping bag in the morning when you are dying to get to the bathroom is not so comical. We had to race out of the Walmart parking lot to find an open gas station for me because Walmart didn’t open until 8!
Thus began a glorious day of traveling back roads. We had determined not to do freeways and we frequently commented how wonderful having roads to ourselves was, and how close we were to the points of interest. We drove the length of Nevada and half of Arizona seeing very few other cars.
We ate granola bars for breakfast washed down by orange juice from the Adin General Store which was a walk through history in itself. We had cheese sticks and peanut butter crackers and yoghurts in the car and didn’t plan to need restaurants. However, at midday we came across this sign :
and we couldn’t resist a fresh squeezed lemonade. (Besides, I needed a bathroom break .) We chatted with the owner and family who just bought this place in December and are trying to make a go of it. I believe it is on reservation land. The only action in town we saw was 2 police cars pulling over nearly everyone passing through town. Good thing we slowed for lemonade—and boy, was it good! Oh, my! So good. We felt inspired to get a burrito as well.
We drove through Nevada all day and decided to stay in a motel that night to get a shower before meeting our friends.
After a day populated by only sagebrush and an occasional truck, this motel seemed other-worldly and bizarre. It was a casino, which we don’t care about, but it had a hot tub which appealed to Ron.
In the light of day it appeared less weird although all the people had disappeared when the sun rose: